Photo by Alexandra Mirgheș on Unsplash

To the white man who co-opted a phrase intended to celebrate the ability to be open to a myriad of points of view and experiences and called me “woke” as a pejorative insult, as an accusation that I am naive and judgmental, I ask, “How, sir, can you be asleep?”

How can you be asleep when the news flashes another mass shooting, another bombing, another youth slaughtered, another death of a police officer, or another victim of police violence? The media feeds it to us daily. How do you look away? Is it too sensational? Does it breed fear?


A Blessed Childhood Turned To Trauma. Yes, I Still Love Her.

I do not hate my mother. There, I have said it. I know some who know bits of my story might accuse me of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome because I can easily admit that I love her. After all, did she not choose to stay with an abusive, alcoholic, predator instead of protecting her daughter?

As Mother’s Day closes in, I have always had a difficult time. I love my mother, but I still have wounds that I am not sure will ever fully heal. The difference between me…

An Exploration of Love, Race, Agency, Privilege and Pain

My 19 year old stepson and I were sitting at the table. He had arrived from the big city to my much smaller one to visit. We developed a relationship that transcended my relationship with his father. We would on occasion do brunch and on this particular trip, he was coming to hang-out with me, his white step-mom, and my white extended family to attend a predominantly white hockey game.

He is my son. We are not blood related, but when I first met him at the awkward age of 13…

An Ode To The Woman Who Changed A Child’s Life

Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

She had a name I do not remember. I remember the sound of her laughter, it rang through the hallway of our apartment complex bringing suggestions of joy that reminded me of distant memories. I remember her smile that brightened the passageways that I hurriedly navigated for fear of who was hanging around the next corner. I remember her skin was a deep ebony that shone a defiant acceptance of herself and those who were around her. I remember the gentle lilt of her accent that held a softness of…

This morning, I wanted to write something brief. This is the weekend I have committed to spring cleaning. As I am mulling over topics, I keep returning to the musing that I need some sugar in my life. Just the sound of the fricative and the short two syllables is sweet. In Spanish, the r gives a sexy breathless sigh if the right man is saying it. Throughout cultures the sweetness of sugar has brought us phrases of joy, beauty, sensuality and community.

“Come here and give me some sugar” is a phrase any grandmother or descendent from the American…

An Exploration Of Trauma And Its Impact On My Voice

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

I was not satisfied with my last post, “When I Was Rich”. I expressed to my husband that it didn’t quite convey the tone that I felt my grandparents deserved. I still do not have the words to express the deep sense of gratitude, and debt I feel when I think of them. My husband posed the question, “Well, then why did you post it?” He added further, “I appreciate your commitment to posting each week, but why the rush to post on Medium? Why not just write?” This is…

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When I was thirteen nearing my fourteenth year I moved into my grandparents’ home. I’ve heard others recount my past and use the phrase, “she had to live with her grandparents” to describe my “situation”. When hearing another narrator tell my story, I hold my place and strive to control my naturally sardonic brow and sassy eye-roll behind a carefully cultivated mask of benevolent understanding. I attempt to gently correct the narrative explaining that I had the privilege of living with my grandparents. Perspective matters.

I was not removed from my mother and father’s homes by Child Protective Services, although…

Don’t Go Telling Stories

An Exploration Of What The Hell I Am Doing Here

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Since posting my two pieces on Medium, I’ve had a few folks ask about my style of writing, wondering if my goal is to write as a career. I have been advised that I need a social media presence with my pen name.

I have also been asked if I have a book waiting to be written. One person suggested that I should develop a clear vision for a blog. While going for a walk today a friend described me as an essayist, another commented she…

Honest Hands

A Lesson Learned From My Grandfather

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

On Friday I disked my garden; it was a dirty but satisfying job, a quarter acre and I was alone. Upon completing this task, I was determined to go hiking in the wetlands to watch the Sandhill Cranes at sunset, a spectacle to be enjoyed at least once in one’s lifetime and not to be missed too often when one lives only 30 minutes away. In order to make this journey on time, it left no time for me to go home and change, time was of the essence.

Having spent the…

The constant hum of the oxygen concentrator is wearing on me. Somedays I cannot think, others it seems to fall to the background, yet is a constant reminder that I am not writing, or working at full capacity as I struggle to put words on to the page. It is at these times that I remind myself that I am not a victim of circumstance. I am here because I made a choice; I chose to love, deeply.

Prior to meeting my husband my home was quiet. I am not describing the quiet of suburbia. Despite living in the middle…

Beth Adira

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